LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — According to the City of Lancaster, a second victim of the New Year’s Eve fire in Lancaster City has died.
The fire was ruled as accidental due to electrical failure, according to the Lancaster City Bureau of Fire and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal’s office.
Fire crews were on the scene of a three-alarm fire in Lancaster City during the morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 31.
According to Lancaster City Bureau of Fire Chief Todd Hutchinson, crews were dispatched at 10:33 a.m. to the 400 block of W. Lemon Street in the city. When crews arrived on the scene, flames could be seen coming out of the first-floor windows of a three-story duplex.
Hutchinson said that crews made entry after arriving and rescued two people. They were both transported to the hospital.
Eighteen-year-old Anna Leavitt passed away at the hospital. Anna Leavitt died due to smoke inhalation, according to the Lancaster County coroner. Thirteen-year-old Ariana Leavitt died due to the fire as well, the Lancaster County coroner said.
According to the School District of Lancaster, the sisters were students within the district. Anna was a senior at McCaskey Campus and Ariana was an eighth-grader at Reynolds Middle School.
“Our District will be opening schools on Monday, Jan. 2, to offer support for staff. In addition, counselors will be available to students and staff upon their return to school on January 3,” School District of Lancaster Acting Superintendent Matthew Przywara said in a statement on Monday.
“In the days to come, our crisis support team will remain engaged to provide support to both students and staff as needed. We ask that you keep all those affected by this heartbreaking tragedy in your thoughts and prayers,” the statement continued.
A third alarm was called in on Saturday to bring in more manpower to fight the blaze. This brought around 50 firefighters from approximately seven responding agencies to the scene. The fire was extinguished within 45 minutes, according to a press release from the City of Lancaster.
Crews were able to vent the structure by cutting holes in the roof, according to Hutchinson.
The home was heavily damaged and has been condemned.
The Lancaster City Fire Marshal Division, Lancaster City Bureau of Police reminds all residents to do the following to help prevent accidental fires:
- Install 10-year battery powered smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom.
- Test your smoke alarms every month by pressing the “test” button.
- Ensure every person in your home understands and practices your home fire escape plan twice a year.
For more information on smoke alarm installation and carbon monoxide alarms, you can contact the Lancaster City Fire Mashal Division by calling 717-291-4869 or emailing email@example.com.